REDONDO BEACH, Calif., June 25, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has entered the integration and test phase for the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) Phase 3 program after exceeding all demonstration requirements for the first gain module, or building block, that forms the core of its 100 kW solid-state laser system.
The achievement came as the company successfully completed a Critical Design Review conducted by Department of Defense representatives at the company's new Directed Energy Production Facility.
Manufacturing has begun in the new facility, which was designed specifically to produce high-power gain modules beginning with the JHPSSL Phase 3 program. Altogether, there will be 32 gain modules in the company's 100 kW JHPSSL Phase 3 demonstrator.
"This means that Northrop Grumman has designed a 100 kW solid-state laser system that can be efficiently manufactured," said Alexis Livanos, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. "We are gratified by the great confidence shown in our design and analysis for this powerful laser system."
The first gain module demonstrated under the program produced a power level of more than 3.9 kW, operated for 500 seconds at 20.6 percent efficiency, according to Mike McVey, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.
"Our design for the JHPSSL Phase 3 laser includes design features needed for future systems," noted McVey. "We are making major improvements in size, weight and power in the Phase 3 laser compared with the system we demonstrated in the last phase."
Under the current phase, the program's goal is for a laser system to reach 100 kW, setting the stage for a variety of force protection and strike missions such as wide-area, ground-based defense against rockets, artillery, and mortars; precision strike missions for airborne platforms, and shipboard defense against cruise missiles.
Designed to accelerate solid-state laser technology for military uses, the JHPSSL program is funded by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala; Office of the Secretary of Defense -- Joint Technology Office, Albuquerque; Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and the Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va.
The company received a 36-month, $56.68 million contract for JHPSSL Phase 3 in December 2005.
Northrop Grumman has been a leader in developing and demonstrating high-energy lasers for more than 30 years, leading to accomplishments such as being the first company to building a high-energy laser system that destroyed rockets, missiles, artillery and mortars in flight, and successful firings of the first megawatt-class laser built for an airborne environment.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Bob Bishop Northrop Grumman Space Technology 310.812.5227 310.251.0261 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org